1) Get a massage:
Massage therapy is a great way to make sure that your stress is being taken care of. Taking some time to relax and have your muscles rubbed and your knots detangled will ensure that you actually get some time to yourself and slow down every once in a while. Since massages are most often given in a quiet room with limited noise and interruptions, you’ll get the opportunity to rest and get a little bit of peace and quiet. It is also a well- known fact that stress often manifests itself physically, so the massage in itself will help you eliminate toxins and release tension in your body. If you have health insurance, you could possibly be eligible for a discount on massage therapy, so be sure to look into this.
2) Improve your diet:
If your diet is not already as healthy as possible, you should try to include healthy foods in all your meals. This will give you energy and help you focus, benefitting you in more ways than one. For example, you could start by cutting down on caffeinated and sugary foods. Limit your intake of coffee to one or two cups in the morning and avoid candy, desserts and other sources of sugar. Caffeine and sugar will prevent you from being completely focused on the task at hand and also lowers your immune system. Other ways of improving your diet can include eating the recommended daily portions of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and eat 5-6 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones. Following these steps is a great way to take care of your body (and your mind). Stress is less likely to affect you – or will affect you in a milder manner – if your body is in good shape and well-fed. Of course, if you are already eating a healthy diet, keep up the good work!
3) Take control of your study environment:
Make sure that you are studying in a place that is conducive to studying. Avoid clutter and unnecessary distraction. If you are studying at home, make sure your desk is neatly organized and you aren’t watching TV while working on your math problems. If you are studying at the library, on the other hand, make sure that you won’t be distracted by the other students coming and going. Having a proper environment to study will help you feel more in control, and will help you focus on studying rather than being stressed out.
You probably aren’t the only student at your school preparing for the GRE. Talking about the test and your study plans with other students in the same situation can help you feel better about the whole thing. You might also want to talk with people who have already taken the GRE and ask them if they have any tips for you. Making your GRE preparation a social activity will help you realize that you aren’t the only one going through this. Socializing can also help you get reassurance that you are on the right track, which can greatly ease your stress. Go for lunch with your group of friends – if any of them are also preparing for the GRE, you might be able to share tips and discuss the test. You might even want to start a study group with other students. Of course, socializing and forgetting about the GRE for a few hours can also help you clear your mind and reduce your stress: take an evening to go out with the girls or the boys and have some fun! Just be sure to not neglect your study in favor of socializing.
5) Learn to manage your time:
You probably are stressed mostly because you don’t think you have enough time to prepare – this is a stress factor for many students. It is also possible that you have other responsibilities outside of your GRE preparation, whether at home or at school. Learning how to manage your time properly will help you feel in control and get a handle on your stress, as you’ll be more confident in your ability to obtain a great score. Track your progress in a journal, schedule your study sessions in your day planner or even create a checklist of sections to cover that you can cross off one at a time as you prepare yourself for the test. These are all great ways to make sure that you are keeping track of what you need to do. Set aside some time to study everyday and make sure that you stick to your routine – this will make time management much more easier, as you’ll know exactly when you’ll have time to study and how much time you have. You can then plan your study sessions better and evaluate what you have to do in order to be ready for a certain date.
6) Don’t skip study sessions:
If you’re stressed out, it can be very easy to go out with your friends or watch a movie instead of spending a few hours studying. Temptations are everywhere, but let’s face it – you can’t be successful if you don’t prepare yourself properly. If you’ve set up a schedule for yourself or are using a study plan (like the ones proposed in our book Conquer the GRE: Stress Management & A Perfect Study Plan) you’ll need to make sure that you are sticking to your plan and not skipping study sessions. Being prepared for the GRE is the only way you’ll be able to obtain the highest score possible.
This Blog is an excerpt from Conquer the GRE: Stress Management & A Perfect Study Plan by Vibrant Publishers . Study for GRE with our Test Prep Series.